If you live consciously, if you try to bring consciousness to every act that you go through, you will be living in a silent, blissful state, in serenity, in joy, in love. Your life will have the flavour of a festival. That is the meaning of heaven: your life will have many flowers in it, much fragrance will be released through you. You will have an aura of delight. Your life will be a song of life-affirmation, it will be a sacred yes to all that existence is. You will be in communion with existence – in communion with stars, with the trees, with the rivers, with the mountains, with people, with animals. This whole life and this whole existence will have a totally different meaning for you. From every nook and corner, rivers of bliss will be flowing towards you.
Heaven is just a name for that state of mind.
Hell means you are living so unconsciously, so absurdly, in such contradiction, that you go on creating more and more misery for yourself. And still you ask:
“Is there really a hell?”
You should not ask it – you know. You are living in it.
A bedraggled, worried Jew, surrounded by crying children of all sizes, sat in the chaircar of a transcontinental express nursing a baby of about one and a half years. He was spanking the baby, mumbling to himself as he did so:
“Smack, you do it again. Smack, you do it again. Smack, you do it again.”
Such seeming cruelty aroused the ire of a motherly woman who sat in the next seat, and she rose, shook her finger in his face and said, “If you strike that baby one more time I will give you so much trouble that you will never forget it!”
The harassed little man paused with uplifted arm and slowly raised his patient eyes to hers. “Lady,” he said. “Why lady, my wife is in the baggage coach ahead, she’s dead, and I ain’t got no place to bury her. And my daughter Rifka is in the Pullman, and she is going to have a baby, and she ain’t got no husband. And that kid has just thrown my hat out of the window. And I am on the wrong train and I don’t know where I am going. And this baby has ruined my clothes and my baggage is lost. Trouble! Lady, you give me trouble? Me?”
What more proofs do you need that you are in hell? Just watch your life. Just look at your own face in the mirror. What have you done to yourself? It is already hell!
But down the ages we have been thinking that hell is somewhere else – that creates a deception, that makes you feel as if you are not in hell. And you are in it! It is not somewhere else. The idea of hell being somewhere else is a strategy created by the priests to deceive you, to make you feel that you are not in it, and to keep you afraid. And they have also created the idea of heaven – that too is somewhere else, so that it goes on hanging in front of you like a carrot. And you can be pulled, pushed, manipulated, by the priests through greed and fear.
You have been made afraid of hell, you have been made very much greedy for heaven. And because you always think they are somewhere else, you remain deceived.